China Uses Artificial Intelligence To Grade Student Papers

A quarter of the schools in China are using an AI to grade student papers; the tech can supposedly understand the general logic and meaning of the text and make a judgement about it that is similar to what a person might make.

It then grades the work, adding recommended improvements in areas such as writing style, structure and theme.

The technology, which is being used in around 60,000 schools, is supposed to “think” more deeply and do more than a standard spellchecker.

For instance, if a paragraph starts trailing off topic, the computer would mark it down.

But the extensive tests of the essay grading machine – built by some of the leading language processing teams involved in the government and military’s internet surveillance programme – were carried out with unusual security measures in place.

In most of the schools taking part in the programme, parents were not informed, access to the system terminals was limited to authorised staff, test results were strictly classified, and in some classes even the pupils were unaware that their work had been read and scored by a machine.

I remember science fiction writer James Blish writing in his 1950's series Cities in Flightabout how the artificially intelligent computers named "City Fathers" were also sophisticated computer teachers and, of course, testers of students:

Chris was not being called upon to do anything with history but pass almost incredibly hard tests in it - tests which consisted largely of showing that he had retained all of the vast mass of facts that the City Fathers were determinedly shoving into him. And this was no longer just history from the Okie point of view. Whole systems of world and interstellar history - Machiavelli, Plutarch, Thucydides, Gibbon, Marx, Pareto, Spengler, Sarton, Toynbee, Durant and a score of others - came marching through the gray gas into his head, without mercy, and with apparent indifference to the fact that they all contradicted each other fatally at crucial points.

Via South China Morning Mail.

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